Some aspects of cultivation and utilization of waxy maize (Zea mays L. ssp. ceratina)

Agnieszka Klimek-Kopyra, Aleksander Szmigiel, Tadeusz Zając, Agnieszka Kidacka


This paper is a review of available literature on Zea mays L.ssp.ceratina. It contains information on the origin, cul- tivation and utilization of waxy maize in the world and can be a contribution to the development of new research on maize cultivation and starch processing technology.
Maize, as an old and economically important cereal, played an enormous role in the ancient civilisations of the New World. Among the maize subspecies compared, Z. mays ssp. indurata and Z. mays ssp. indentata are now the most important in Poland. The subspecies Z. mays ssp. saccharata has a marginal role, while Z. mays ssp. ceratina has not been hitherto cultivated. Decisions to introduce the subspecies Z. mays ssp. ceratina into cultivation are based on different grounds, taking into account both agro-climatic conditions and industrial uses of grain processing products. The growing demand for maize grain, stimulated by the increased demand for maize starch and oil in the global market as raw materials that are important in food production, is an impulse for the development of agrobiological research. The development of the starch industry, associated with the demand for industrial starch, will probably contribute to increased interest in this subspecies in Central Europe, also including Poland. Waxy maize grain can be a major ingredient of high-energy feeds for livestock, replacing in this role the type of maize that has been grown for this purpose until now.
A great advantage of waxy maize is its specific structure of starch, due to its unique and high amylopectin content (95-98%), which creates unlimited possibilities of industrial use. Currently, waxy maize acreage in Europe does not exceed 2% of the maize crop area in this continent.


Zea mays L. ssp. ceratina; origin; cultivation; grain properties; chemical composition; industrial use; animal feeds

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